David Davis, Brexit Secretary, has confirmed in an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that British companies will be given a maximum of two years to adapt after a Brexit deal is finalised in 2019: “At the end of two years, we will have our deals”. “What may take a little longer is implementation”. “I don’t know, whether it’s customs arrangements or it’s a time for companies to accommodate things or whether it’s border arrangements or some other elements”. “And we’ve said we accept that there may be an implementation phase thereafter”. “It won’t be a long time … a year or two.” Mr. Davis also warned the House of Commons that an attempt to reject the Government’s Brexit strategy would not keep Britain in the EU. Speaking after Theresa May laid out her negotiating objectives yesterday for the formal talks which start in March, Mr. Davis insisted that she had set a realistic timetable. While EU negotiators say talks on a free trade deal can only begin after Britain settles its divorce from the bloc, Mrs. May said yesterday that the negotiations would instead run in parallel. However, negotiations are not expected to begin in earnest until after the French and German elections later this year. Donald Tusk, the European Council president, said the remaining 27 members were “united and ready to negotiate” while Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s chief negotiator, said the “days of UK cherry-picking and Europe à la carte are over”.
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